Official: Barack Obama’s 2018 budget request is $1,153,000. Obama’s office — 8,198 square feet in D.C. — will cost taxpayers $536,000 next year, the most of any ex-president.
By Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times – Thursday, August 31, 2017
Former President Barack Obama is about to become the most expensive ex-president, costing taxpayers $1,153,000 next year, according to a new Congressional Research Service memo looking at the official allowances for the five living former chief executives.
His $1,153,000 budget request for 2018 is more than $100,000 higher than George W. Bush’s request for next year and nearly $200,000 more than Bill Clinton’s expected budget. George H.W. Bush is slated to get $942,000, while Jimmy Carter will get less than half that, at just $456,000.
Every former president gets an office, expenses and, in some cases, an annual pension payment, thanks to a 1950s-era law enacted after former President Harry S. Truman struggled for income when he left the White House in 1953.
While most ex-presidents since Truman have found ways to make their life beyond the Oval Office financially rewarding, the taxpayer-funded perks have remained — and Mr. Obama is the latest to take them.
By far the biggest cost for ex-presidents is renting office space. Mr. Obama’s office — 8,198 square feet in D.C. — will cost taxpayers $536,000 next year, the most of any ex-president. Mr. Clinton’s New York office is bigger, at 8,300 square feet, but slightly cheaper at $518,000. The younger Mr. Bush’s office in Dallas is $497,000, while his dad’s space in Houston is $286,000. Mr. Carter’s Atlanta office is just $115,000.
Mr. Obama’s pension payment is also the highest, at $236,000. Mr. Clinton is second with $231,000, followed by the younger Mr. Bush at $225,000, the CRS memo says, citing figures from the General Services Administration, which administers the 1958 Former Presidents Act.
Presidents’ cost figures don’t include protection, which the U.S. Secret Service provides for former presidents and their spouses for life. Those costs aren’t public, but reportedly run into the tens of millions of dollars.